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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jay Chou exclusive interview to talk about new album: realised all his dreams before 30

Holding his new album Jay Chou will be getting closer with Mainland China fans this month, on the 24th at 1pm Jay Chou was a guest online with Sina to chat with people online. The following is the transcript:

Presenter: I welcome you Jay to Sina to meet with friends online.

Jay: Hello everyone.

Presenter: It didn't take long to see you in Beijing after you released your album.

Jay: It's been too long since I saw friends in Beijing, because the promotions in Beijing have been pretty short before.

Presenter: In the past there were more films.

Jay: Now there's more music, I'm going all over the place to promote.

Presenter: You're saying that you're paying more and more attention to promote music.

Jay: Yes. Before I came to promote in Beijing, afterwards I will go to Wuhan to hold a concert, there's also Chengdu, I'll be holding a concert and singing my new songs.

Presenter: We've heard many very good songs, like "Fragrant Rice", etc... This article is translated by

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: He carries a pack of cards with him wherever he goes, now we'll let him perform a bit.

(Jay Chou performs magic trick)

Jay: Touch one of my cards.

Presenter: OK, I'll take this one.

Jay: I've also got a card in my pocket, it's the one you just picked, 6 of Spades.

Presenter: Why do so many reporters ask you about nosey news? Is it because the articles that get written look better?

Jay: Why don't you ask any?

Presenter: I won't ask.

Jay: A reporter like this is too good.

Presenter: Explain your attitude towards studying magic.

Jay: I'll do a scary one for you, why do I say this? I'll read your card from your eyes. Pick any card.

(The presenter picks a card)

Jay: I'll now make a scary one, put it at the first card. Pick it up now and see if it's the first one.

Presenter: Yes.

Jay: Just before I said I can read what your card is, please put it as the first one, I'll let the audience look, is it this one? 4 of Hearts.

Presenter: You can see it.

Jay: Yes, this is a magic technique, when I'm telling him like it's only natural, I see it myself. It doesn't matter, the 4 of Hearts didn't get changed, now I rub it and it's already changed into the Jack of Spades.

Presenter: Seeing this bit it's a bit scary, can you reveal how you did it? Was it your hand?

Jay: My hand is like playing a piano.

Presenter: Your sleeve?

Jay: You can look, it's not there right.

Presenter: I want to know why?

Jay: I'll let you look again, you take this card, there's a card in my left pocket, the number on it, is this your card? Blow on it. Take a look.

Presenter: You were able to know it was the 5 of Hearts, why?

Jay: This is a close quarter performance with an amateur magician.

Presenter: We'll go back to music, this is called "Capricorn", it's been related to magic from the start to now. All along you love doing magic, this is the first time you've tied it so close to magic.

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: Why?

Jay: I want to do something other people haven't done, the combination of magic and music doesn't seem like it's been done before, I can extend it to my future concerts. I can do magic at concerts.

Presenter: Do you want to try it out like David Blaine?

Jay: I think it's unimaginable. If I wanted to do magic, it is the stage. For instance my opening, my opening is me descending from the sky and ascending from the ground. The next thing I want to produce with magic, is myself producing myself. Have you seen someone playing the piano, until the last song, the curtains cover the piano and the person, and then the person is gone, travelling through time, travelling 20 years, then I come out of the curtains.

Presenter: What you just said makes me think of a time machine.

Jay: We've all seen cartoons, we need a part of the memory and recollection, recall the past, if I had a time machine, I want to go back to the past.

Presenter: Which year do you want to go back to?

Jay: I want to go back to the student years, I lived a very simple life back then, there weren't any paparazzi, it was a bit freer.

Presenter: If I let you describe this album, how would you describe it, what new stage do you think you've reached in the process of making it?

Jay: I've already broken through my last few previous albums, it's sales and predicted sales have already been better than the past albums.

Presenter: To you, besides acknowledgement from other people, have you acknowledged this album yourself?

Jay: I think it's very important what other people think, even though sometimes I think if it's important than it's important, but I really care about the acknowledgement of others. Have they heard the surprise I've given them.

Presenter: In this album, I like "Fragrant Rice", because it's got a warm feeling, it's got a lot of breath.

Jay: A lot of people like "Fragrant Rice", it's got a lot of charm, it's broad, adults also like it.

Presenter: I know there are 3 MVs for this album which you are director for, I've looked at how many times your name is in it, there's producer, music head supervisor, and also MV director.

Jay: Yes, I've done a lot, I've wasted a lot of time. No, I'm joking. I've very busy, I do everything myself, I'll do anything myself, because I don't trust other people, but the things must be the best.

Presenter: Last time after we chatted here, you mentioned you didn't trust other people too much.

Jay: A magician finds it hard to trust other people.

Presenter: But you need to see through every person.

Jay: Yes, this is where magicians are mysterious, it's just like music. Music is like magic, magic can change someone's mood, this is a magic trick. You in a bad mood right now, you really want to cry, you become happy after hearing a song, it can change someone's mood. Filming a movie is the same, the director is the magician, because a movie is fake, why do you cry your heart out at the end, this is the charm of magic.

Presenter: While talking like this my mind's opened up, it's like dreaming.

Jay: When you're dreaming you will have a nightmare, because you've got an anxiety consciousness, you have to cherish everything. There is real everything in "Fragrant Rice", then you'll have it. Even though this isn't yours but you still have to cherish it.

Presenter: Do you remind yourself of it each moment?

Jay: Yes. When no one acknowledges my music, should I be retreating to the back? I often think of it like this. Another 10 years, I think I'll reach a bottleneck, there isn't one right now. But I hope this time comes later. Sometimes not everyone will think it sounds good if you think it sounds good, some music will slowly come to a dead end, you have to run other people, other people come up again.

Presenter: You've already thought of a lot of possibilities now. After you released your album, everyone thinks about what your next album is?

Jay: Yes, I have to give them a surprise every time, when you think he's out of ideas, you find out there's a lot of change. When you find out there must be change, there's no change, just be yourself, handle change with a change.

Presenter: You once said good things don't need to be changed.

Jay: Yes. You don't need to change if you get 100 on the test, if it's not good you can get 99, some people criticise for the sake of criticising, they're picking bones from an egg, so you don't need to listen to these voices. Some people hear negative voices online, I think there's no need, you go online to hear voices that are nice to hear, to hear voices overstating you. The one I often look at is the official website, because it's got voices that are nice to hear.

Presenter: If you really became a magician, what would you do if you had magic powers?

Jay: I'll save the world and become a hero. I really like hero films, I think most Chinese hero films are ancient style ones, the Western hero films are modern ones. So I want to film a Chinese hero film that's modern in the future.

Presenter: Just seeing this look, it's very heroic.

Jay: I'll go save humanity when it's the end of the world, I'm still producing this now in the later stage, because you still haven't seen the MV.

Presenter: It's looks good. Talking to here, I want to mention I haven't seen such a package for this album.

Jay: This packaging is like magic actually it's got a lot of versions, I saw this package today like this, it's a lot like a DVD.

Presenter: Do you want to start a new trend, you make it simpler for the costs of manufacturing a CD and don't make it too thick, you stuff the inside with things.

Jay: It can be simple, but it needs to be complex. I like some things to be complicated, it looks deeper. You open the CD, open the lyrics and that's it, you have to add in some stuff. For example I put in MVs inside.

Presenter: Is magic simple or complex?

Jay: (performs). When you want it you have it, when you don't you don't have it, stick it on your album and you have it. This is an ordinary card, you might not believe it much.

Presenter: Now I request to confiscate this card, can you do it again?

Jay: I can, you can take this card home, you'll find out it's disappeared tomorrow.

Presenter: Last time when we were talking, you said you especially mentioned the age of 30, you said you wanted to do things others haven't done before 30, you've realised a lot of ideas. I've counted, you age is coming up soon.

Jay: After a few more months I'll be 30.

Presenter: How have you considered the arrival of an age? To you, this is an important stage in life.

Jay: I've realised the dreams before 30.

Presenter: What's your dream after 30?

Jay: I still haven't done it, I'll set my target when I'm 30. Because I've done all the things I should have done before 30, film a movie, 9 albums. I hope to have a party with fans when I'm 30, because I hardly have parties with fans.

Presenter: Why?

Jay: Because I don't have time to do it, I don't have time to especially go run it. When I'm 30 I hope to have one that's nationally or regions like Australia and America. I want to hold a party for my 30th, it's should be quite cool right?

Presenter: I'll bravely predict this, will you become a real magician? After 30.

Jay: I think not many artists turn into magicians, my real specialised field is still above magic, I don't want other people to think I'm being distracted.

Presenter: A lot of people say this.

Jay: If I'm going to do it, I'll do it to the best, I think like this for whatever I do. When I film a movie it must be the best, it must be number one, it has to be number one for anything, this is so I don't let fans down it's not because of myself.

Presenter: When you're 30, based on your rate of one album per year, everyone can start looking forward to this album at 30, will it be a best collections?

Jay: It won't be a best collections, I think it's very cool. People will always taken back a little, time goes by very fast.

Presenter: You can no longer possibly say your 20 odd anymore.

Jay: Yes, I can no longer say to everyone I'm 20 odd, 29 is also 20 odd, but when you're 30, you must say 30. I hope to tell everyone it's my work when I was 29, if I film a movie at 30, then it's perfectly reasonable. I created memories when I was very young, something like this is the same as creating your own history.

Presenter: What will Jay Chou be like after 30 I wonder.

Jay: Yes, I don't even know it myself, there's a lot of variables.

Presenter: What demands does your mother have on you?

Jay: None, mother is very open. She's open but also conservative, she's a bit contradictory. But her way of thinking is not of your average star father or star mother in the entertainment circle, it's not for you to work hard, demanding you must do whatever, I think she lets me do what I want to do freely.

Presenter: Will you perform magic for them?

Jay: Of course. They think I'm a child in their eyes, they think magic is tricking people. No matter how amazing of a trick I do, they just smile, they don't ask about it. You only ask about it if you think it's real.

Presenter: Just before we talked about the new album and that to Jay Chou it's a breakthrough, we think there's a lot of styles, you've played too much in terms of singing.

Jay: There's a lot of singing that's not like me.

Presenter: I can describe it as flirtatious.

Jay: You can. You can listen to "Lan Ting Preface" and "Mr Magic", this is two different voices, I'm playing with music. I'm playing possibilities with voices. There's also "Sea Of Flower", there's a big change in key, I've never done such a singing voice, it's a very big breakthrough.

Presenter: You are the music head supervisor, only you dare to do this.

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: Have you thought that you won't get acknowledged as the music head supervisor?

Jay: I started out as the production assistant, I will give opinions to the producer, how I think this album is like, he thinks you understand, you come from a classical background, he'll listen to you, I think there's a great feeling of achievement, from assistant to producer,

Presenter: Just before we talked about "Lan Ting Preface", what Chinese style will you put into your music next time? This time you've chosen "Lan Ting Preface".

Jay: Yes. Actually I've been creating classics, no matter if they are breakthroughs or not. A lot of demands from culture, you will magnify it to see its standard, you look at it through a magnifying glass, what's been done this time, was there any breakthrough. Chinese style is a brand that me and Vincent came up with, we will continue it.

Presenter: Will there be breakthroughs every time you choose?

Jay: Definitely. For example like "Chinaware", etc... I wrote a bunch of stuff, what's there to play at the bottom, this is the frontal position, because the lyrics are its creation, I just have to write the melody, the pressure on him is very big.

Presenter: You might be choosing tea or silk for your next album.

Jay: I've written about tea already. I think things with creative concepts have a lot of room to do things.

Presenter: Talking about "Beyond A Thousand Miles", it was broadcasted a lot at the time in the album, there was also a Yang Rui Dai that I don't know about.

Jay: You can see that the recorder for the first album is Yang Rui Dai, he's from 89, we worked together, he recorded and recorded, finally he's done it, and then we've brought his work out to share with everyone. His secondary occupation is being an artist, his main profession is being a recorder, he doesn't promote very often, I help him promote, this is the first artist I have signed, he's the type based on skill and not an idol.

Presenter: A lot of newcomers have participated in the production.

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: Do you have plans to assist newcomers?

Jay: I'm nearly 30, I'm old, things I couldn't do when I was young, I can complete those dreams for myself, just like the cover for this album, I want to film a hero movie, I've helped myself complete the dream, if I have strength I can support newcomers, just like how Jacky Wu discovered me, I want to discover other people.

Presenter: There's a man to man duet in the album, I think it's very unique.

Jay: Yes. Because I have to support my own people. There's also Snake Dance, it's folk style, it's a combination of folk and hip hop, I dance in it, I don't have confidence in dancing, I danced for a long time in the MV, I danced from the start to the end, I didn't stop at all.

Presenter: What dance did you do, you were just talking about Indian dancing.

Jay: Do you want me to perform a bit?

Presenter: Sure.

Jay: Let the dance teacher Ice Cream onto the stage.

(Ice Cream performs) His movements are like that of a snake, this is something people who can't dance can dance, because you only have to move your hand, if you can dance then it won't be the same, you can show off.

Presenter: You were just like a dancer teacher there, you were teaching him.

Jay: You try dancing the snake dance.

(Ice Cream performs) It's too exaggerated, are you a snake? He can dance, help me arrange it. It looks good if there are a lot of people.

Presenter: Do the people who work with you have pressure?

Jay: No, they are very happy.

Presenter: He is a dance teacher, you've become a dance teacher.

Jay: When I was filming the MV, I'll tell him what the scene is. For instance when I'm filming and I can't film it, I'll let him film the upper half. This is a good thing about being a director, you can change what you think you're not good at, you can avoid it. For example if this dance move is too hard, you just film the head.

Presenter: So that's why you wanted yourself as your own director.

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: I thought you were just trying to save money.

Jay: No.

Presenter: "Dragon Knight" is a bit of a fantasy feel, is it directed by you?

Jay: Yes. It's got the feeling of a bit like an online game, its scope is the same as filming a movie, these are done in post production, there's a motorcycle, bike, so these aren't CGI, they are real.

Presenter: I hear your mother is having headaches, she's accepted it because you can use it in MVs.

Jay: Yes, for safety, riding this one is too obvious.

Presenter: Did you perform by yourself in front of a blue screen?

Jay: Yes, I rode it in front of the blue screen, I even looked behind to see if there was anyone there.

Presenter: When will we get to see this one?

Jay: Originally it was going to be this Saturday, everyone can watch it in the weekend, it's tomorrow, it won't make it, it might be changed to next week.

Presenter: The post production is not done by you right?

Jay: The post production is all handled by professionals.

Presenter: Just before you mentioned Speed Racer, is your next target to head into the International scene? Including having your music accepted by even more countries outside Chinese people.

Jay: On one side it's related to the language, my English is not good. If you film a Hollywood movie your English must be good. Hollywood is not my dream or ideal, I don't think you need to film a Hollywood movie to be considered a success, I think you must have a good piece of work, you can preserve it onwards, like Teresa Teng's songs, they've been preserved until now. What I'm doing now is something historical, it's just like what I said just before, people who live in the world often have illusions, just before I said there was a time machine, does the dream still exist after a 100 years, this is something I want to do. And not how I want my movies to be international, being international is something that's hard to define, it's a word often used, everyone thinks it's going outside, just like the song I wrote "Fragrant Rice", going outside, you have to leave home, you'll encounter difficulties when leaving home, you don't dare to go back, and because of this you need to work hard.

Presenter: Your dream is to hope that your works are preserved, and make a lot of people carry on singing them.

Jay: Yes. Make music expand. A lot of foreigners learnt Chinese singing East Wind Breaks and others, this has made foreigners learn Chinese.

Presenter: You should have realised your dream already.

Jay: I think I've realised them already. My patriotism is quite strong, I don't believe I have to go over to Hollywood to further develop my career.

Presenter: At 30, does Jay Chou not have a target in life?

Jay: No, targets in life are one step at a time, working with Song Zu Ying, the Chinese style will definitely be good.

Presenter: Who do you want to work with now?

Jay: No one.

Presenter: We talked about it last time.

Jay: Take "Compendium of Materia Medica" to adapt it to performance. I think such a collaboration would be amazing.

Presenter: You've sent out such an invitation, he ought to have got the message.

Jay: No, it's just my own thinking, I think it's a collaboration in terms of music, it's bringing about more hope for Chinese music.

Presenter: Today you've come onto Sina as a guest because of "Capricorn", tomorrow you are leaving Beijing, this time you have a two day schedule, where will you go tomorrow?

Jay: Wuhan, you will hear new songs.

Presenter: Everyone will definitely get a lot of surprises.

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: There's a lot of chances, Jay Chou has a lot of these kinds of concerts.

Jay: Yes.

Presenter: What plans have you got for next year?

Jay: Next year I won't necessarily be doing concerts, I do a concert every two years, I haven't finished with the last one.

Presenter: That's not right, you said tomorrow you'll get together with all your friends. After it finishes, we perform again.

Jay: I can, I'll do a scary one, bring a card, I don't know what you are thinking in your heart. She gives me this card, you think of a card in your heart.

Presenter: You definitely can't guess it.

Jay: If you have a card in your hand, you turn it over and hand it to me. As long as you give the card to be face down, what card are you thinking of in your heart?

Presenter: Jack of Spades.

Jay: Take a close look, start looking as I open it.

Presenter: It really is the Jack of Spades.

Jay: One more time. You think of a card, the one you think of. Look at my hand, very good, it's that one. Tell me what is it?

Presenter: 3 of Hearts.

Jay: There's one that's face down, 3 of Hearts.

Presenter: It's true. Great, today's interview ends here. Finally I thank Jay Chou.

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